Apple Fined $2,855 in South Korea over Location Tracking

Fined an almost insignificant sum of money, Apple is paying up for the second time since being accused of storing users’ location data without permission.

A class action lawsuit looms, while two governmental bodies are breathing down the company’s neck as it is being forced to pay 3 million won ($2,855) to South Korea’s communications regulator, according high-profile news agencies.

The decision comes right after Apple paid 1 million won (around $900) to a South Korean lawyer who took Apple head on last month citing damages caused by the iOS location tracking flaw.

Kim Hyeong-seok sued the iPhone maker over "mental stress" caused by learning of the location-tracking abilities of the iPhone operating system.

The $2,855 fine ordered by the South Korean communications regulator, although small, is likely to set a precedent and perhaps even motivate the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission to do the same.

The location tracking bug, however, had been patched via an iOS software update long before Apple was even facing any legal action over its discovery.

Before the software update release, a company representative appeared before the US Congress to pledge that it had never intended to store a year’s worth of unencrypted location data for each user, and that it had all been caused by a ‘bug’ in the software.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so," said Steve Park, a spokesperson for Apple Korea.

Close to 30,000 South Koreans are on track to launch a class action lawsuit against Apple on the same grounds.

If it is determined that these customers are entitled to some compensation for damages, the next slap on the wrist is sure to hurt a lot more.

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